Documents: Seattle tunnel builder wants $190M more

SEATTLE — The contractor digging a highway tunnel under Seattle is asking for $190 million in extra pay. Documents obtained by The Seattle Times show Seattle Tunnel Partners has asked for $62.6 million in change orders on top of the $125 million the company wants for repairing the tunnel-boring machine.

The Times reports the proposed cost increase would equal nearly $300 for every resident of Seattle or $27 for every person in the state of Washington.

If the state has to pay the whole amount, it would add 13 percent to the project already valued at $1.44 billion.

Todd Trepanier, the state’s Highway 99 tunnel administrator, downplayed the requests from Seattle Tunnel Partners, however, saying there was a “very slim chance” the state would have to pay for those expenses.

The state already has determined that some of the big-ticket items are without merit, and Trepanier said he expects the state would end up paying a fraction of what the contractor is requesting. The requests are not unexpected, he added.

“I think it’s right on par with the size of the contract,” Trepanier said.

The tunneling machine known as Bertha has completed just 1,025 feet of its 9,270-foot journey under downtown Seattle and has advanced only four feet since running into trouble in December. The machine isn’t expected to start burrowing again until March 2015, after crews are able to build a pit in front of the machine and replace the main bearing.

Chris Dixon, project director for Seattle Tunnel Partners, said earlier this week that the $125 million request for the tunneling delay was based on an earlier estimate the machine would restart in September. The additional delay would likely add to costs, he said.

The contractor is also hoping to be paid about $20 million related to a labor dispute concerning longshore workers over who would be on the project. The contractor said it is owed another $20 million for unexpected site conditions and groundwater at the machine launch pit. It also wants $5.7 million for a Seattle City Light service agreement and $5.5 million for strengthening the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Other proposed costs are smaller in scope, such as $32,000 for crane revisions and $13,000 to replace fiber-optic line.

Dixon declined to comment on the proposed payments Friday, referring questions to the state.

More in Local News

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Officials to test sanity of suspect in Everett crime spree

He allegedly tried to rob and clobber a transit worker, then fled and struggled with police.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
Everett’s brush with Katharine Graham, leader of ‘The Post’

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson recalls The Washington Post publisher’s visits.

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Families seek to change wrongful death law

A bill would allow or parents or siblings who wish to pursue a suit for an unmarried, childless adult.

Most Read